Double Crochet Scarf

Double Crochet Scarf

Finally finished the scarf to go with that Pierrot Pattern Crocheted Cap.  I thought I’d have this done in no time, but kept dropping stitches and then not noticing it til a foot or two later.  I ended up unraveling and redoing chunks of this thing over and over again…. in the future, I’ll have to remember:
  • Do not rush.
  • Do not crochet when half asleep.
  • Do not crochet in the dark (maybe you can, but I’m just not there skill-wise).
  • Do not crochet when really distracted.
  • Periodically count stitches in the row being crocheted.
  • Make sure to look over the piece every couple of rows or so to check for dropped stitches or other snafus.

I’ll admit to much muttering and some cursing as I unraveled and redid parts of this scarf.  But I think it’s worth it to go back to fix a mistake.  Especially since this set is being donated through the KnitTogether group (a Hope for New York affiliate)  to someone in need this holiday.

I really like the simple clean look of both the cap and this scarf.  Hoping whoever receives it will enjoy it and be warmed up a little both inside and out by it.

For anyone interested in making this scarf, here are the pertinent details:

  • I used a US G (4mm) hook
  • I used 2 skeins of Cascade 220 yarn
  • Chain 25 plus 1 more for a turning chain
  • Single crochet 2 rows
  • Switch to double crochet until scarf is to desired length.  I chained only 2 for my turning chains (instead of the standard 3 for double crochet) and treated these turning chains as the first stitch in each row.
  • End with 2 rows of single crochet.
  • Add in scalloping at both scarf ends.  There are many tutorials available on line for how to do this.  I referenced this one.
  • And, of course, finish by weaving in all yarn ends.
  • My finished scarf measures 6 inches wide by 70 inches long.
“Home” Again for Thanksgiving

“Home” Again for Thanksgiving

Recharging at the beach this week.
Luckily, lots of sunshine so far.
Walking along the water.
Running into the waves.
Hunting for sea glass.
Taking naps in the shade.
My happiest moments are with my little family by the beach.
If home is where the heart is,
Then we are most definitely home.

Pierrot Pattern Crocheted Cap

Pierrot Pattern Crocheted Cap

Less than 18 hours before we head out of NYC for our annual Thanksgiving vacation.  So you know what that means, right?  Yes, once again, I am frantically trying to finish just one more crochet project while doing laundry, packing and cleaning perishables out of the fridge… Why do I do this to myself?

This cap is super cute, huh?  I’m very partial to Pierrot Yarn designs.  I found the pattern for this particular cap (29-210-24 Cap) while browsing around on Ravelry.  A few maker details if you’re going to try this:

  • I used one skein of Cascade 220 yard and a US G (4 mm) hook
  • I increased only to 105 stitches on the round
  • I was a little worried the hat would still be too loose, so I worked the chains quite tightly on the three rounds of edging.

I still have three feet to go for the matching scarf (instructions coming soon).  Then this set will be donated through the Knittogether group (an affiliate of Hope for New York) to those in need this Holiday season.

Now, much as I would love to sit down to finish that scarf too, I’m making myself save that bit of crocheting for tomorrow morning’s plane ride.  Time to run through the rest of my day-before-traveling checklist!

Advent Calender

Advent Calender

I just treated myself to this really nifty Pottery Barn cubby organizer.  It’ll be great for displaying tchotchkes in it throughout the year.   But I’m especially excited because it’s perfect for our Advent Calendar and as the place to house all the Christmas ornaments too heavy for our tiny Charlie-Brown-Christmas-Tree.

A few Christmases ago, my boys and I created our Advent Calender by listing of our favorite holiday activities and setting ourselves tasks to make Christmas for others.

Once we finalized our list, my job was to set the order of Christmas activities.  Instead of opening a chocolate or a gift, my boys were surprised each morning by opening an envelope to discover that day’s Christmas activity.

This year’s activities remain almost the same.  But I did need to redo both envelopes and cards in a smaller size to fit the new organizer (yay cubby!).  I very briefly considered getting extra crafty by making my own envelopes and stamping the 25 cards.  But seriously, who has time for that?  Instead, I ran over to Paper Presentation in search of mini-envelopes and stickers.  Success!  Bought a pack of red envelopes (conveniently packaged in sets of 25) and numbered holiday stickers from 1 to 25… really, what can’t you buy these days?

After a mad square-punching session on a selection of old Christmas cards, I rewrote our choice of activities.  I was a little sad two of us (not me) vetoed ice skating, but happy the boys still agreed to sing Christmas carols with me (but only if no one else is listening).

The biggest challenge this year turned out to be setting the order of activities.  When did we all get so darn busy?  J & I working (him way more than me).  S & E in school and with activities lined up all week long.  Sometimes I really miss the years when my boy-os and I were mostly at home…

Assuming we keep on top of things, here’s what December and our Advent Calender look like:

  1. Write letters to Santa
  2. Be extra courteous today.  Let someone else go first.  Open doors for others.  If the opportunity arises, by all means, give up that subway seat.
  3. Be extra thankful today.  Can you think of 5 things you are grateful for?  Is there someone you want to express a special “thank you” to?
  4. Read a Christmas story together.
  5. Donate this week’s allowance to a Salvation Army Santa.
  6. Field trip to candy store to buy candy for the gingerbread house.
  7. Mystery holiday field trip.  Planning to take the kids to the Gingerbread Lane exhibit… but shhhh!  Don’t tell them!
  8. Decorate our Gingerbread house.
  9. Donate old coats to NY Cares.
  10. V & J Prepare holiday gifts envelopes for the guys who make our lives easier.
  11. Write Christmas cards to the Grandmas & Grandpas.
  12. Family Christmas caroling.
  13. Picture with Santa (really boys, this is maybe the last year…).
  14.  Family Soup Kitchen morning.
  15. Donate toys to a toy drive.
  16. Prep teacher gifts.
  17. S & E work on gifts for J.
  18. Si & E patiently and with great thought, write in V’s “mom journal”
  19. Start holiday baking.
  20. Visit holiday markets.
  21. Make a Christmas craft together.
  22. Go out for a cup of fancy hot chocolate.
  23. Walkabout to see the big Christmas trees.
  24. Watch a Christmas movie together.
  25. Merry Christmas.  Pajama day.
Hand Stitched Embellishments – Fluffy Felt Flower

Hand Stitched Embellishments – Fluffy Felt Flower

Yes, I am still experimenting with stitching flower embellishments.  The best “tutorial” I could find on how to make today’s flower was this picture on Pinterest.

And yes, I’m still stitching these flowers in my spare time… only I feel like I’m sprinting through each day and there’s been almost time to spare… sigh.

Luckily, I still have 2 weeks til that beret decorating activity I told you about.

Initially, I wanted to use cotton fabrics to make the embellishments.  But after some testing, I decided the cottons have too much of a “homespun” look so I switched to felt flowers.  Felt has the right heaviness to it and holds shapes better.  Also, paired with some shiny buttons, I think the resulting flowers are actually pretty sophisticated looking.

Today’s flower takes a little more stitching than last week’s yo-yos.  Probably a little too complicated for beginner sewing students (under a strict time constraint and with multiple flowers to make).  Think I’ll make a set of these for them instead.  That way, they can start their activity with a little hand stitched gift from me to set the happy stitching mood.